We just celebrated Purim.
You might have several different questions running through your head at this point. Purim? What’s that? You mean that holiday in the Old Testament? I thought you were Christian. Jesus came and we don’t have to do that stuff anymore.
A few years ago, I would have responded the same way.
However, I have since discovered that God created a richness in the special days mentioned in the Old Testament that further help my family and I worship God.
And the cool thing . . . the Lord’s festivals foreshadow Jesus. Authors of A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays, Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce sum up the reasons why we have chosen to celebrate the Festivals that God outlined in the Old Testament. By doing so we learn about:
- historical events of the Bible
- prophetic events yet to come
- our Christian walk
- God’s plan of salvation
- the life and ministry of Jesus Christ
So . . . last night we celebrated Purim.
Now Purim or the Feast of Lots is a little different. It isn’t one of the Feasts commanded by God (Leviticus 23) for the Israelites to celebrate through Moses. Purim is considered a Post-Mosaic holiday. Purim is a celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from a horrific plot to eliminate the Jewish nation by a man named Haman. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar (February-March), which happened to be yesterday. The 14th represented the day that all Jews were to be annihilated but instead survived thanks to God working through Mordecai and Esther. Since our home fellowship just finished studying the book of Esther, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Purim together.
We gathered for food, fellowship, and recap the events of Esther . . . all that we had learned from solid and humble Mordecai, brave Esther, drunk Xerxes, and prideful Haman.
Let me present a little bit of history. Here are a few interesting events that ALSO happened historically on the 17th of Nissan, which is when Queen Esther’s request to save her people was granted by King Xerxes after the Persian Jews spent 3 days fasting. Each event marks a time of new beginnings . . .
- Noah’s ark came to rest (Genesis 8:4)
- Hebrew’s entered Egypt (Exodus 12: 40-41)
- Parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 3:18; 5:13)
- Israel enters promised land (Joshua 5: 10-12)
- Walls of Jericho fall down (Joshua 5:13)
- Cleansing of the temple by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29)
- Resurrection of Jesus (However, I know there might be some debate by various people regarding this assertion . . . maybe for another blog post.)
Coincidence? I think not.
I encourage you to read the book of Esther. Though God’s name is NEVER mentioned, His fingerprints are EVERYWHERE.